Sharing Smiles is honored to shine a spotlight on one of our volunteer CRNAs, Heather Dypolt, for her extraordinary dedication to service above self. In addition to volunteering her time and talents on Sharing Smiles cleft lip and palate trips, Heather works as a CRNA with United States Anesthesia Partners.
When Heather was an undergrad, a couple of nurse anesthetists spoke to her class. Even though she had never heard of a CRNA before that day, after the presentation she knew that was the career path that she would pursue. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Heather worked for 5 years as a surgical NICU nurse at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she developed a love of caring for children. It was inevitable that when she went back to school to become a CRNA, she would specialize in pediatric anesthesia.
In March 2020, Heather started a non-profit company called Unicorn Stitches Inc. The idea for the business arose when Heather and a couple of her colleagues teamed up to make some masks to protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first few masks were a bit too small, which sparked the idea in Heather that once the pandemic was over, she would really learn to sew and shift her focus to making and donating masks for children battling cancer, as well as donating them to Sharing Smiles for use by the children during mission trips.
“One morning, I got up and started reading my daily devotional as I do every morning. That day I felt like God was leading me to start this business. I've never sewn before, but that day I made a decision to follow God's prompting and I ordered a sewing machine. I felt like if He was leading me to it, He would also let me learn to sew.”
Heather’s advice to others looking for ways to help: “No idea or dream is too small or insignificant. What we see as small is a huge deal to someone else. If making a mask keeps someone safe or puts a smile on a child's face, then I know in my heart the work I am doing is for the greater good of someone else. Whether it be to serve at a homeless shelter or start your own non-profit, just find a way to give back. You will be amazed at the joy you will feel just knowing that you made a difference in someone's life.”
You can follow Unicorn Stitches Inc. on Instagram and donate via Venmo (@unicornstitchesinc). All donations will be used to purchase the supplies needed to make more masks.